It’s time to dust off your trainers and dig out your gym kit, as a new survey has found that completing your community’s weekly parkrun can do wonders for your mood!
Every Saturday, in approximately 500 parks and open spaces across the UK, thousands of people are lacing up to take part in parkrun. And, according to a new study of 8,000 people conducted by Glasgow Caledonian University and Strava, an overwhelming majority (89%) of those running the free 5k run each week say it has made them happier.
Coordinated entirely by local volunteers, parkrun entices not only athletes and running enthusiasts, but is also much-loved by those who simply enjoy a sociable run as part of their weekly exercise regime. As well as making participants happier, the parkrun study also found that those joining in were more likely to exercise at other times during the week too. An incredible 80% of those surveyed said that their weekly habit kept them motivated to exercise on weekdays too.
A spokesperson for Ipswich parkrun said: “parkrun enables people to gain new experiences, make new friends whilst at the same time contributing to improved fitness, which in turn contributes to their overall health and well being.
“A number of people have said it gives them a reason to get up and out of the house on a Saturday morning and go somewhere where they can mix with people of all different backgrounds and share experiences.
“The effect of exercise makes people positive and gives them a buzz, because they feel better about themselves in body, mind and spirit and it gives them encouragement to come back for more – it becomes a habit.”
The positive effects of parkrun aren’t just rubbing off on those in the UK though, as individuals across the globe seem to be getting the parkrun running bug. You’ll find weekly parkrun events spread across many other countries in Europe including France, Germany, Holland and Italy, as well as in Canada, USA, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
If you’re eager to hit a new running PB, to feel more motivated about exercising, or to simply meet new people, parkrun might be a great idea for you.